For the second straight year, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has won his arbitration case against the Tribe and will earn $13 million for 2019, effectively doubling his $6.5 million salary from a season ago. He is now the fourth-highest paid on the roster for 2019, behind Carlos Santana, Corey Kluber, and Jason Kipnis.
The Indians had countered with a salary of $11 million in arbitration.
The significant salary bump should come as no surprise to fans who watched Bauer deliver a Cy Young-caliber season in 2018 before he was sidelined in August after being struck by a line drive to the ankle, resulting in a small stress fracture in his right fibula. He was able to return for the postseason as a reliever, but struggled for the most part in three appearances.
During the regular season, Bauer finished with a career-low 2.21 ERA, struck out a career-high 221 batter, and was worth 5.8 WAR. He’ll be expected to anchor the Tribe’s formidable rotation in 2019 alongside Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Clevinger, and Shane Bieber.
He is also the only player I’ve heard describe arbitration as “a fun process.”